Cherokee Nation high court hears arguements in gay marriage case

Tuesday, August 2nd 2005, 10:39 am
By: News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- The Cherokee Nation's highest court is weighing arguments Tuesday in a case involving a lesbian couple's effort to have their marriage recognized by the tribe.

A tribal member argues that Cherokee law prohibits same sex marriage.

Dawn McKinley and Kathy Reynolds asked the Judicial Appeals Tribunal to throw out a court case that's standing in the way of getting their marriage certificate filed.

The Owasso couple received a marriage certificate from the tribe, but a complaint filed by tribal member Todd Hembree put the filing on hold.

The couple's lawyer argued Tuesday that Hembree has no standing to bring the suit because he hasn't been harmed by their marriage. But Hembree says it's a matter of making sure the tribe's laws are followed and that all Cherokees are harmed if they're not.

Hembree expects the Cherokee justices to rule in the case in the next ten days.

McKinley and Reynolds say they want to see what the court says before deciding whether to push to have the tribe recognize them as married.